nightmare. for one man, it proved to be reality. rob nelson has been following this story and joins us this morning. so many people wondering how this could happen, rob? >> reporter: that's a great question. good morning, bianna. the film a few years ago, tom hanks, "the terminal," where tom got lost in the airport. for one louisiana guy, that hits home. in the real-life version, that guy never made it off the plane. overnight, winter weather pounded the nation, leaving thousands stranded at the airport. >> so we're canceling flight 909 due to severe weather in chicago. >> reporter: but weather didn't stop tom wagner from catching his flight. it was because he was catching zs. >> i woke up. and, uh -- the lights were out. i was like, what's going on? >> reporter: he was headed from louisiana to california with a layover at houston's bush intercontinental airport. prepared to meet his sister in orange county, he woke up in his seat near the back of the plane, freezing, all alone, in a dark, empty cabin. >> i called my girlfriend. she thought i was crazy.